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Salmonella Outbreak That Sickened 11 Prompts Recall Of Pistachios

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Wonderful Pistachios of Lost Hills in California voluntarily recalls some of its pistachio products due to a salmonella outbreak that has sickened 11 people and prompted two to be hospitalized.

The announcement was made on Wednesday and includes pistachios sold under the brand names Trader Joe's, Paramount Farms and Wonderful. The products were sold throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Peru.

Details Of Products Contaminated With Salmonella

For the Trader Joe's products, the affected batch are those that have a "Best If Used By" date of Oct. 27 to Nov. 4. The specific product variants include Dry Roasted & Unsalted with UPC 0007 9990, Dry Roasted & Salted with UPC 0007 9983 and 50 Percent Less Salt Roasted & Salted with UPC 0011 1348.

All products come in 16-ounce plastic bags and information are found at the back, bottom part of the plastic.

In January, it can be recalled that Trader Joe's was also involved with a separate salmonella contamination risk for its raw cashew pieces.

Paramount Farms only have one product included in this recall. This is the Roasted Salted Inshell Pistachios with a code date and Lot No. Oct. 27(1509123280901), Nov. 5 (1510123332401). These information are found on the side box.

A total of 19 products from Wonderful Pistachios are included in this recall. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration have released a complete list of these affected pistachio variants.

Reports Of Sickened People 

The beginning dates of illness of the affected consumers range from Dec. 12, 2015 to Feb. 9 of this year. These individuals are said to be aged nine to 69 years old, with a median age of 31.

About 73 percent of the patients are males.

No reports of death have been received by any of the concerned authorities so far.

Public Advice By Health Authorities

The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) recommends the public to not eat the pistachios if they have already bought one. The agency also advices retailers to stop selling the affected products.

Trader Joe's advises the same and reports that it has removed the affected pistachios from its store shelves. The company also asks its consumers to discard or return the pistachios to any of its branches for a full refund.

"We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience," the company statement reads.

Efforts Made, Efforts On The Way

Investigations made by different collaborating teams from the state, local government and federal authorities indicate that the salmonella outbreak is most likely due to the pistachios.

The officials have interviewed the sickened people, who detailed the food items they have eaten and other exposures to possible causes during the week of illness onset.

Eight of the nine people (89 percent) surveyed said that they ate pistachios before the week of illness. The CDC considers this proportion significantly higher than the results of another interview with healthy people, where 12 percent reported eating pistachios a week before the survey.

The investigative team also asked about the brand of pistachios eaten and 63 percent reported Wonderful brand.

Laboratory testing results from Paramount Farms products reveal Salmonella Montevideo strain in its raw pistachios.

"This investigation is ongoing, and we will update the public when more information becomes available," says the CDC.

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